Welcome to Part I of my showcase of custom Dalek figures in my collection created to resemble Daleks in the Intensive Care section of the Asylum in Asylum of the Daleks. These Daleks are alleged to be the most insane Daleks in the Asylum, so it makes sense that as part of my Asylum Project to expand on the ideas and themes that we are shown in the episode. First, let’s address the elephant in the room – in the episode, the Dalek Oswin refers to to Intensive Care as containing ‘survivors of particular wars’, later revealed to be survivors from encounters with the Doctor on planets like Kembel, Exxilon, Spiridon and Vulcan. These are planets from Dalek stories in the Classic Series, so the Intensive Care ward should in theory contain Classic Series Daleks. However, in the episode, the Daleks we see are in fact New Series Daleks, more specifically the bronze Time War variants. Whilst some, including myself, have passed this off as a lazy oversight in the past, an explanation must exist for why this is the case. The most realistic idea that I can think of is that, upon being rescued from whichever battle they were a part of and condemned to the Asylum, the survivors were removed from their original casing and placed in newer Time War casings.
This explains a lot, but it also poses more questions. The Daleks are capable of time travel, and therefore fully capable of rewriting their own history as well as the history of the Galaxy, so we aren’t even sure if the events of the Classic Series episodes happened as we saw them happen from the Daleks’ point of view, because since then in their personal timeline they have meddled with their own personal timeline. What era in the Daleks personal history did they create the Asylum? Personally, I believe it was the Paradigm Dalek era, and the Asylum went back along the Dalek timeline and snatched up the insane or deranged. This would explain why the Cult of Skaro, a secret order above and beyond even the Emperor Dalek, would not think to go to the Asylum for the rich source of Dalek flesh stored there – it didn’t exist at that point in their history.
Custom Opened Dalek with Mutant
This custom was created using a Damaged Dalek Thay figure, which will become a recurring theme throughout these blog posts. To achieve the opened effect, I took the entire Dalek casing apart and used a hacksaw to cut the front panel into two pieces. I then re-assembled the Dalek around the remains of the head of a 12″ tall Dalek Sec which provided the wrinkly base for the mutant inside. I then used hot glue to attach the pieces of the front panel to the skirt to be consistent with the manner in which New Series Daleks open their casing. The wires connected to the mutant were from an old phone charger, and they are held in place by plastic pieces attached to the back of the casing. The mutant itself was painted green using Citadel paint and the eye was coloured in with permanent marker. The eyestalk is fake, created using the pieces from the gunstick of a remote control Dalek. Lastly, the entire figure was given a black wash with Citadel paint.
Some of the patients in Intensive Care are there for the long haul – like this Dalek which requires constant fluid replacements otherwise its flesh will expand and the mutant will explode. Needless to say, the mutant itself is hardly pleased with this arrangement, and several Asylum systems have been damaged in its rage.
Custom Extensive Dalek Life Support
This figure represents a Dalek in critical condition that requires a delicate, intricate system of life support machines to keep it alive. I removed the top part of the Dalek with a hacksaw and filled the insides with pieces of plastic and tissue paper. I then covered the inside with hot glue and added a plastic cylinder from the inside of an old fish tank filter (still sporting the impeller) and attached wires to the outside with hot glue as well. The frame was built using pieces of plastic from a Warhammer set held in place with hot glue, and painted silver – there are more pieces of plastic added to the frame at the top to resemble machinery, and the wires from the Dalek connect to various points along the upper frame. The entire figure was given a black wash to simulate the grime and dust in the ward.
After constructing this intricate system of life support mechanisms, the Asylum’s automated medical systems essentially left this Dalek to its own devices – literally. The Dalek casing has since formed a symbiotic relationship with the modifications in order to keep the mutant inside alive while it sleeps.
Custom Intensive Care Time War Dalek
This custom introduces a recurring theme of using half of a Genesis Ark for some of these customs – the idea behind this (other than to find a use for the half-a-dozen Genesis Arks I had in my workshop) was to emulate the ‘booths’ that many of the Intensive Care Daleks inhabit in Asylum of the Daleks. I created this Dalek by cutting the top half off a Damaged Dalek Thay figure and filling the gap with a piece of plastic from the inside of an old amplifier. I held the Dalek in place using wires of solder and later with hot glue, and the wires feeding in from the top came from the inside of an old computer. I also gave the figure a black wash concentrated around the upper section.
After sustaining critical temporal damage in a skirmish of the Time War, this Dalek was transported to Intensive Care and rushed to a life support booth. Since then, the Asylum systems have been working night and day to repair the damage to its mutant’s flesh, whilst the casing’s auto-repair functions attempt reconstitution.
Custom Opened Intensive Care Commander
This elaborate custom is designed to emulate the ‘levitating’ open Dalek that appears in the entrance to the Intensive Card ward in Asylum of the Daleks. This was a physical prop in the episode so the production team must have engineered a way for the top half to lift off – unfortunately, this is less simple with a custom figure. I did the paint job on this Dalek first, using red and black Citadel paint for the detailing and red permanent marker for the Asylum stamp. I cut the Dalek in half using a hacksaw and cut the front panel in half. I then used the plastic frames of Warhammer figures to keep the upper half elevated whilst also attaching the two halves of the front panel to the front of the custom. This was all done using hot glue, which I also used to fill the inside with pieces of plastic and circuitry from the inside of a computer, which was then painted black. The entire figure was then given a black wash using Citadel paint.
Though the mutant inside is long dead, this Commander-class Dalek casing remains in Intensive Care for spare parts in case of emergencies – despite the botched nature of the operation that killed this Dalek, the Asylum’s automated repair drones repeat the same mistakes over and over again with little progress.